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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Kids Suspensions, Klaphake, and Obama's Jobs Council

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Silly Season is back -- Senator Harkin is not running again and the pundits are running names up the flagpole. If Representatives Tom Latham and Bruce Braley announce, others need not apply, but many will be 'considering,' for egos need to be fed, and options preserved.


2013 is off to another wacky start. A 5-year-old kindergarten student in Maryland was suspended for allegedly telling classmates she was going to shoot them, and herself, with her little pink Hello Kitty Bubbles Gun, - which she didn't have.

It shoots soap bubbles! She reportedly was questioned for three hours before her mother was contacted. She has been reinstated. Common sense, though, remains at large.

In another Maryland school a 6-year-old boy was suspended (later reinstated) after making a gun gesture with his hand and saying, "Pow." And two 6-year-old boys were suspended for playing cops and robbers during recess and pretending their fingers were guns.

Melody, a Philadelphia kindergartner, was suspended for a piece of paper the girl's grandfather gave her that was torn and folded to look like (it didn't) a pistol. Another student saw the 'gun,' which Melody had thrown in the trash can, and alerted the teacher. The male teacher told her that he, "should call the cops on her" and that she could "be arrested."

Be thankful you live where you do, and appreciate reasonable school authorities.


Zimbabwe's finance minister revealed yesterday that his country has only $217 left in the government Treasury. Today President Obama said, "Stop bragging!"(Jay Leno)


Sports fans - have you noticed some mediocre announcing of televised basketball games? Now that every East Overshoe State game is televised the networks are struggling to find qualified people to call the games. Many chose to visit with their partner instead of reporting -- like who committed that foul?


In the early 1980's, within 24 hours former Le Mars City Administrator Gary Klaphake, Larry Schmitz and I each broke an ankle playing tennis. Larry is again recovering nicely, a broken leg this time.

Klaphake is now the City Manager of Lafayette, Colo. From Minnesota, he was the city administrator in Le Mars from 1978 to 1981, then moved to Carroll, Fairmont Minn., to Estes Park, Colo., and in Lafayette for the past 15 years.

It is unusual to spend 37 years in those pressure positions without being fired at least once! Scott Langel is in his 18th year as administrator in Le Mars. Nationally, the average tenure for a City Manager is seven years.

Encouraging me to be active, my dad told me, "Never do anything and you will never do anything wrong." That saying is appropriate when evaluating a city administrator or manager. Not many jobs 'enjoy' the scrutiny and criticism that go with that position.

The difference between city managers and administrators is basically that managers have more power. Power ceded to them by voters, sometimes because of dissatisfaction with elected officials. Klaphake, for instance hires, fires and develops the budget.

He says he has never been fired and left each job on good terms as he has moved up the ladder. "I have fond memories of Le Mars and you guys. You taught me to keep a sense of humor. I have been here 14 years and I credit (my success) to the good experience I had in Iowa, from you guys."

Klaphake is proud of reaching, and maintaining, a Standard and Poor's bond rating of AAA at Lafayette. Le Mars has consistently maintained a good A+ rating.

Illinois was recently lowered from A to A minus, unseating California as the worst state. Iowa and Nebraska are AAA while Minnesota and South Dakota are AA.


President Obama's Jobs Council hit its sunset date last week. He says it has "fulfilled its mission" and he won't extend it. The mission, apparently, was to lower the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent. The President hasn't met with the Council in a year, but then why would he when the economy is doing so well.


Don Paulin, 2carpenterdon@gmail.com, 7557 30th Av, Norwalk, IA 50211 - 515-201-7236

By Don Paulin
Been There, Done That

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